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How Long Does a Tank-Type Water Heater Last?

Many people assume that their water heater will last for a decade or two. And that once it gets older, it will give you signs letting you know there’s a problem. Sometimes, your water doesn’t seem as hot as it should be. Or maybe there’s a small puddle under the water heater. Maybe you hear an odd gurgling sound. Or, more often than not, you suddenly find 40 gallons of water flooding your house.


Depending on the manufacturer, the type of water in your neighborhood, and how often the unit is serviced, the average 40-gallon tank-type water heater can last between 6 and 12 years. 


How Can I Tell the Age of My Water Heater?

There should be a plate on the water heater showing the manufacturer, the serial number, the model number, and the date the water heater was manufactured. The plumber who installed (and possibly maintains) your system may have also added a sticker with the installation date. 


My Water Heater is Under 5 Years Old But Something Seems Wrong

There could be any number of reasons your water heater isn’t working the way it should: 

  • You could have a leaky pressure relief valve
  • You could have sediment buildup in the tank
  • Your heating element or thermostat may need to be replaced
  • Maybe your water pipes are leaking or need better insulation


Whatever is causing the problem, you’re going to need to fix it in order to extend the life of your water heater. 


My Water Heater is 6 Years Old or Older

You may have some of the same problems you do with a younger water heater, but the results of ignoring them could be far more severe. 


What type of water is in your house? Soft and vaguely soapy tasting? Hard and full of minerals? Hard water can shorten the life span of your water heater.


Also in question is how often have you had your water heater serviced? It’s recommended to have the tank drained at least once a year (more often if you have hard water) in order to remove any sediment in the bottom. When was the last time you checked the anode rod? 


If you’re not sure how old your water heater is and you can’t remember the last time it was serviced, now would be a great time to call in a professional.


Johnny Rooter, with licensed plumbers based in Rockville Centre, are experts in both water heater repairs and water heater installations. We can come and check out your water heater, fix what’s not working, service what is, and let you know how much longer you have until you need to replace the unit. And if that time is now, they can professionally install your new system and keep it maintained for years to come.


Have questions about what’s going on with your water heater? Call (516) 535-0528 to get answers from some of the best Nassau County plumbers in the business.